A Tauranga woman who admitted assaulting her son claimed it was because she was under stress, had been working 12-hour shifts, was suffering from bronchial pneumonia and had toothache.

“You forgot the most important thing, which was the booze,” Judge Louis Bidois told Sandra Rangi Sydney when sentencing her in Tauranga District Court on Tuesday.

The court was told that the 52-year-old had whacked her adult son with a coffee cup.

The judge said that what made it worse was that it came “hard on the heels” of her assault on another son earlier this year.

“You got community work and supervision and here you are again offending in a similar way.”

She had done anger management and drug and alcohol counselling since the last incident but it did not appear to have done any good, Judge Bidois said.

He noted the defendant also had four drink driving convictions.

Sydney, who pleaded guilty to assault with a blunt instrument and possession of a weapon, was sentenced to a total of 260 hours community work and ordered to pay the victim $300 emotional harm reparation.

Prosecutor Sergeant Sean Brennan said the pair and a friend had been drinking at home for most of the evening on July 30.

By about 8pm, Sydney was intoxicated and got into an argument with her son.

While he was sitting at the table, she picked up a coffee cup and hit him in the neck from behind.

The force of the blow broke the cup and left a small cut on the victim’s neck.

He pushed his mother outside while she swore and yelled at him, scratching and hitting him in the face, Mr Brennan said.

The son bit Sydney’s finger as he shoved her through the door, shutting it behind her and then phoning the police.

When police arrived, she told them it was a family argument but got out of hand.

Judge Bidois said Sydney was described as a hard working, devoted mother and the sole provider for the family since her partner died 15 years ago.

“It has been a hard life for everyone, including your children,” he said.

“You are held in high regard and have a good job. But it seems to me that you aren’t doing very well with your family in recent times and I put that down to alcohol.”

NZPA